5 tips to using Instagram for your business
Over 300 million people worldwide use Instagram on a daily basis. Nearly half of those users follow some sort of business. It's no wonder businesses are jumping at the opportunity to use Instagram to advertise their business and increase brand awareness!
Perhaps you have tried making a business account on Instagram but you haven't had much success. What can you do to start reaching potential customers? Here are 5 tips on getting more exposure for your business on Instagram.
1. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are an essential part of the Instagram ecosystem, as it allows users to find posts specifically related to what they are looking for. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, and you can utilize each and and every one of them to maximize the number of people that will be searching for your content. Be sure to use hashtags that are directly related to your post, and think about what your customers will be searching for. It's a best practice to research your hashtags before using them. A hashtag that is underused probably won't be searched for by many people, while a hashtag that is widely used will be seen by the masses. Do a quick search to see how many people are using the hashtag you want to use.
Tip: You can post hashtags in a separate comment below your original comment and your post will still show up when people search for it.
2. Finish your profile
There is nothing more unprofessional than a business account with no profile picture and no description. It is impossible for a person to relate to a business if they can't identify who they are and what they do! That's why a complete profile is essential for any Instagram business account. Make sure your profile picture is recognizable and consistent with your other social media profiles. Choose a short but informative, and perhaps catchy, description of what you do and how people can contact you. Doing so will ensure that people will hit the follow button when they view your profile instead of moving on to your competitors.
Tip: Instagram now allows you to have a business category under your username. This is linked to your Facebook business page and must be edited on Facebook.
3. Don't know what to post?
Not knowing what to post is the number one reason many businesses avoid Instagram. After all, not all businesses take a lot of pictures, and Instagram is a social network that focuses primarily on pictures. This is where creativity is needed. Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Think about the answers to the questions they commonly have and find images or inspirational quotes that relate to those questions. Try posting a video of you or your team on the job. Look at other business accounts to get some inspiration.
Tip: Hire a social media expert to manage your Instagram account. Social media managers do the research to know what your business should be posting. Many are also graphic designers who can design attractive posts that convert your followers into customers.
4. Instagram stories
Recently, Instagram launched Instagram stories, a great way to share short videos or pictures throughout the day. This feature lets you share a more in depth message than a single image can provide. Show off your creative process, deliver special offers or share a raw glimpse into your business. Stories disappear after a while, so it motivates your followers to tap your story before it's too late.
5. Be social!
It's called a social network for a reason! You can't just post things and expect the likes, comments and followers to come flooding in. Show some love to other businesses you appreciate. Comment on and like posts you genuinely find informative, cool or entertaining. Follow people who inspire you, or that you hope to inspire. You'll often find that the Instagram community is generous and will reciprocate a like, comment or follow.
Tip: It doesn't hurt to ask. Direct message potential customers, asking them if they are in need of your services. If they are interested, they will likely visit your profile to see if you are legit and may take you up on your offer.